Access to HE Diploma: Social Science - FT

An Access diploma is the nationally recognised alternative to A Levels and GCSEs for entry to British Universities and Colleges of Higher Education. The course offers excellent preparation for studying at a higher level and can increase your chances of future success.

At Halesowen College our Access programme is specifically linked to Birmingham City University, Newman University and Wolverhampton University but, as part of the Open College Network, the qualification is recognised nationally, leaving you free to apply to the University of your Choice. Even if you were to decide against progressing to higher education.

This course is designed to give you a broad overview of social sciences, with a focus on psychology, sociology, and individual research skills. From finding out about how neurochemicals affect behaviour to looking at how the education system treats people differently based on class, gender or ethnicity, this course will challenge you to think about what makes us think and act the way we do and about how and why society works the way it does. Psychology and sociology give us the skills to ask questions, from “how does an anti-depressant work?” to “why do we still have a gender pay gap?” They also give us the skills to find and assess evidence to answer these questions, and to develop an in depth understanding of human behaviour and society.

Which units will be studied?

  • Introduction to psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Psychobiology of stress
  • Introduction to sociology
  • Sociology of the family
  • Sociology of education
  • Gender
  • Sociology of health

For more information about the course, contact Hilary Gardner ().

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods. These include written assessments, group discussions, presentations, academic posters and timed assessment. This range is designed to develop the skills needed for university and professional practice. The variety of assessment methods means all learners have the opportunity to use their personal strengths and build on their skills.

What do I need?

Grade C in GCSE maths and English

Where can it take me?

Our students go on to a wide variety of university courses, including:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social Work
  • Criminology/criminal psychology
  • Social Policy
  • Counselling psychology

Career pathways include:

  • Social Work
  • Criminology
  • The probation service
  • Education

Additional information

1 Year Programme

Start date September 2019

Fees (2019-20) £3022


The minimum loan amount you can apply for is £300. The amount you can get is based on the fee charged by the college or training organisation and maximum set by the Government. The Government maximum loan for this course is £3384.

If the total college fee shown is more than the Government maximum, you will have to pay the difference yourself.

Only Tuition fees to be paid at enrolment. If applying for an Advanced Learning Loan we will need evidence of application before enrolment can be completed.

It is important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options. You can access free impartial money advice from The Money Advice Service at

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